Spring Has Sprung

With COVID lockdown due to come to an end, a couple of essential 28-day engine health flights were required to get the aircraft ready for the glorious spring and summer flying season ahead. First up was the Cub:

This time she started right up, and we were soon proceeding in a leisurely manner over the Scottish countryside. This is Kinclaven and the River Tay:

I had decided to go a little further afield than just the very local area, so we set off into Fife, aiming for the airfield at Crail on the easternmost tip of the county. It was a lovely day so obviously a selfie was required:

Note the blue badge above my right shoulder, just in front of the speaker? That is to commemorate the L-Birds to Normandy event in 2019, where former military Cubs converged in France to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. You can make out the map of the Normandy coastline on the badge. The previous owner Richard took the aircraft to the event, and it’s a trip that we would like to do in the future. It will take a long time at 70 knots, but that’s vintage aircraft flying for you.

Here we are with a 63 knot groundspeed making our way back from Crail…

Behind the aircraft on the map view you can make out part of the circular symbol for Kingsmuir airfield. Sincere apologies to the aeromodeller who picked up his aircraft and cleared the runway as we approached the overhead, just to see us putter off into the distance with no intention of landing. Sorry! I made sure to give it a slightly wider berth on the way back, but the radio control flyer’s car had gone by then.

Landing back at Perth in calm winds, I jumped out and went for a pee. The weather was so nice I decided to go up again, this time just locally to the north. Here’s the confluence of the Tay and the Isla again:

Last time we saw it, it had those great Kelvin-Heimholz instabilities:

The high wing and opening windows are great for photography:

…but the fuel doesn’t last forever, so with the float and wire gauge bobbing down towards the bottom, it was time to land. The engine had a good run, and with the annual due at the end of April, a summer of fun awaits:

I got home to find a package had arrived with two decals from the 79th Infantry Division. These will go on the cowling. They may cause a little confusion to the experts as the Cross of Lorraine was also the symbol of the Free French forces, but in this case it is the badge of the 79th, commemorating the unit’s area of operations in the First World War:

Next up, the RV. Another day, but still lovely weather:

I had included aerobatics on the insurance for this year’s renewal, surprisingly with no increase in premium. So it would be silly not to…

As my RAF friend Tony said: “Why do you have the map on the ceiling?”

A summer of fun awaits…virus permitting.